Monday, December 30, 2013


One of my pre-New Year Resolutions is to finish a job in the basement then clean up the Jungle Room before tomorrow, so I'm just posting this helpful handy information that came over the email machine. I actually knew most of this but have never connected the dots in my head . . . S.L.

I don't know what you guys are paying for gasoline but here in California we are averaging between $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose, CA we deliver about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

We have an agreement - I'll let her drive it around if she brings it back with a full tank.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

To have an impact, we need to reach literally millions of gas buyers. It's really that simple . . .



  1. These myths have all been debunked repeatedly.
    Storage tanks are underground...the temp of the
    fuel stored there does not change by more than a
    degree over the course of a day.

    The fuel system in a car is a closed system, the only time
    vapor can escape is if the gas cap is open. The only reason
    to not let the fuel level drop too low is the fuel pump. In most
    cars the fuel pump relies on fuel in the tank to act as a coolant.
    Letting the tank drop too low too often MIGHT shorten the fuel
    pumps life.

    Fuel is filtered multiple times between the refinery and your engine.
    Unless the filters are neglected contamination is not a major issue.

    There are lots of things in life to worry about. The ones in the article
    are not among them, they are distractions.

    1. Not exactly mythology - modern gas stations have their tanks ABOVE ground, incredibly, and even a 1 degree difference in termperature is a big deal. Plus the advice about pumping slow versus fast is legit.

  2. Aw, Dan beat me to it. What he said.....

  3. $2.92 here at Sam's, otherwise 2.99 and up

  4. heck yeah. following this advice I can save three, maybe four cents a gallon. cheers mate.

  5. I can't remember ever seeing a gas station with above ground tanks.
    There are a lot of reasons to NOT PUT STORAGE tanks above ground in unsecured areas....especially in populated areas.

    MULTIPLE academic groups have tested ALL of the above theores and find that there is essentially no realistic basis to these claims. An increase in efficency of less than .1% is within the margin of error.

  6. Former petroleum worker here. Never buy when a tanker is/has delivered; too much dirt/water stirred up. Station filters are rarely maintained. Rarely. Problem is, once the tanker unloads/leaves, you arrive, see no tanker, think it's OK, fill your tank. But it takes a long time for the sediment/water to separate out because the product is stirred up so much after delivery. Here's a bit of scary reality. Some guys would drop items into the tanks. They'd bend over to pop the cap on the fill pipe and pens, cigarettes, lighters, whatever they had in their breast pocket would fall into the pipe. One guy told me the weirdest thing he saw was she'd he accidentally dropped his flashlight. It landed face up, still shining up from down in the tank. Looked really eerie.